My primary aim in coaching anyone is to make a positive and lasting difference to them. I believe that I can consistently achieve this aim by assisting people to overcome the worlds most popular internal block. This internal block is variously described as lack of confidence, fear of failure, and lack of self belief.
Businesses throughout the world are still failing to recognise the power of building their employees self belief. I see far too many struggling businesses that have workforces that are sick with low morale, where there is a clear epidemic of fear of failure and lack of self belief running throughout.
One of the natural responses to financial pressures in the workplace is to ‘manage’ your way out of trouble. Managing by means of instruction, close supervision, ‘being all over it.’
Now, this may give the manager a feeling of control, and this in turn might make them feel more comfortable, however, the chances are that it will result in the person being ‘managed’ losing confidence, and lacking self belief. The end product is that morale is low and performance drops, resulting in a drop in income. Also, people go off sick and leave the organisation, this results in increased costs.
So in actual fact the actions of the manager produce the opposite of the desired outcome. This can then become a spiral to destruction unless the negative consequences are recognised,
Building self belief in others requires us to release the desire in us to control them and also the desire in us to maintain their belief in our superior ability.
We build self belief when we make decisions, when as a result of our decisions we take successful actions and when we take full responsibility for our successes and our failures.
Therefore the communication or coaching, in order to produce the result of an increase in self belief in the person being coached (lets call them the coachee) needs to be collaborative.
The language that a collaborative coach uses is non-directive, rather than directive.
Directive language is what the ‘manager’ may use. Language that assumes authority, a superior knowledge, involves instruction, this is directive language. In communication, using directive language leads the coachee feeling like they have been told what to do or given advice. A directive manager or coach will assume responsibility for the creation of ideas and actions and most of the talking in the conversation will come from the coach. This style of communication isn’t so much working with someone, as it is working on someone.
Of course directive language can be appropriate, since it would take a long time to learn to drive unless someone gave you definite training and instruction on what to do and when.
Collaborative coaching is accepting that a person has their own answers and simply needs support for their own learning process. So, training employees to do their job and then coaching them to success is how to maximise your business results.
Collaborative coaches will focus the coachee on the appropriate skills or areas in their situation that will bring up the required ideas or insights that are needed to deliver the required outcomes. The coachee will be encouraged to come up with their own learning, their own perspectives on the situation. The coach can influence the attention, the focus of the coachee, without telling them what to do or what to think.
For the coachee in a collaborative coaching environment, it will feel like they have really been listened to, that they have discovered their own answers by exploring their own ideas and thoughts. They will consequently feel responsible for the results that they generate and they will have ownership for their actions. Having ownership for their actions means that they will be more willing to persist and get improved results. Consistent reinforcement of this will inevitably result in the coachee experiencing a growth in self belief, and this is what we are after!